Tag Archives: blogging

28th August 2016

 | In Blog

What does ‘healthy’ really mean?

Think about what ‘health’ and ‘being healthy’ means to you. Many picture a glowing angelic being, the owner of tight abs and firm skin, transcending through a yoga-fuelled vortex, indulgently munching on sprouted beans and truly loving the flavours of raw earth… Am I right?

‘Health’ is the noun that represents being free from illness or injury. ‘Healthy’ is the verb used to describe promoting the idealism of good health. In my opinion, the word ‘healthy’ is over-used and misunderstood.

I recall a time when I was offered a ‘healthy’ handmade raw chocolate bar: ‘Full of nuts and seeds, it’s completely sugar free and totally delicious,’ he said. I was naturally intrigued, and seeing as my stomach was over-ruling my head at the time, I purchased my ‘guilt-free treat’. It was a big, dark and handsome snack, that’s for sure, however on munching away I couldn’t help but feel I had been misled and mis-sold something deliciously unbalanced. This chocolate bar was in fact not sugar free, as the sweetness came from the copious amounts of blended dates, full of concentrated natural sugars. Indeed, unrefined sugars, and dates are a great food to include in your diet, but still sugar, thus the phrase ‘sugar free’ was unarguably false. Furthermore, the main setting agent for many raw chocolate treats (admittedly, including some of my own recipes) is coconut oil. My super ‘healthy’ chocolate bar of sinless-satisfaction-yet-hopeful-waist-line-friendly-goodness, was indeed high in coconut oil, the most confusing saturated fat in the health food industry. Though my beautiful raw chocolate bar looked and tasted amazing, I was left feeling heavier than expected and started to reflect on the potential dangers of the newborn health food clan.

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Anyone can label themselves a ‘nutritionist’ – go on, jump on the bandwagon if you must! It seems like everyone everywhere is an expert in food and the apparent ‘science’ behind what we eat. It is truly a great thing that so many people are caring more about what they eat, however the concerns lie with those without sufficient knowledge and hard evidence to base seemingly factual statements on. As a Dietitian, I represent the British Dietetic Association (BDA), as well as being a member of the Healthcare Professionals Council (HCPC), therefore I aim to avoid giving false statements about foods or nutrition. I aim for my recipes and products to be ‘nutritious’ – i.e. offering additional nutrients to maximise the nutritional profile and efficiency of a food. However, I will never deny that my delicious foods, that offer so many added benefits, are free from fats or sugars where they are not, or even label something as exclusively ‘healthy’.

‘Healthy’ is over-used and sometimes misleading. ‘Healthy’ cannot be applied to a single food, but can describe a person’s overall physical, mental or nutritional intentions. Do not be pressured by the new-wave of ‘Orthorexia’ (an obsession with eating health foods). Enjoy foods in the right amounts, maximise the nutritional value of your diet by making it varied, eat what you enjoy and try not to be influenced by wild low-key health claims that may or may not get you into summer-body heaven.

Susanna Author:

UK registered Dietitian • Obsessive foodie • Plant-based blogger • Recipe magician • Free-from

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24th August 2016

 | In Blog

Why plant-based eating?

We live in an ever-evolving health-bribed society, with increased pressure to eat and live in a specific moral way. We are all aware that as these health expectations leave less room for error, the number of chronic illnesses and obesity-related problems increase. However, this roller coaster of dietary fads are hopefully extinguishing themselves out, with lack of effectiveness and evidence base.

Going ‘vegan’ is one of the newest growing dietary and lifestyle changes people are willing to take on. In the last 10 years, the number of vegans in Britain has increased by three and a half times, to around 542,000 people [Vegan Society]. Though full-on ‘vegan’ labelling may be yet another short-lived fad for some, there is a sufficient base of evidence for increased ‘plant-based eating.’ This does not automatically have to exclude all animal-based products from consumption, but encourages the benefits of increasing, and prioritising, foods derived from plants. Essentially, ‘plant-based eating’ means that at least two-thirds of the diet should be made up of these kinds of foods. By prioritising foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole-grains, nuts and seeds, the consumption of processed sugars and saturated fat can be instantly reduced for better long-term health outcomes.

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It started modestly with Paul and Stella MacCartney’s Meat Free Monday in 2009, still publicised and shared on social media to this day. This campaign promoted better health, environmental benefits, saving the pennies, as well as the animals.

More recently, Veganuary encouraged people to try being vegan for one month, in the hope that they embraced the enjoyment of plant-based eating and found true compassion for animals. Plant-based sources of protein tend to be low in saturated fats, and sources of essential vitamins and minerals high in fibre. These nutritional benefits help to mitigate some of society’s most severe health problems, which include obesity, diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.

In 2014, more evidence into the benefits of eating 7-a-day fruits and vegetables came to light (BBC reported this – see http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-26818377). Reaching this new 7-a-day goal could not be easier when following a varied plant-based or vegan diet (original paper by Oyebode et al. 2014).

In conclusion, whether you’re a meat-eater, a health-freak, a fitness-fanatic, an animal-lover, someone who is considering going vegetarian or vegan, my message to all is be a plant-based eater. Do what you can, as often as you can and try to meet up to 7-a-day fruits and vegetables (it’s easier than you think, I promise!). By making two-thirds of your diet the good stuff, you could actively be preventing chronic illnesses and keeping your weight at a healthy level (ideally BMI 20-25kg/m2). Think better health, a longer life, happier bank balance, increased awareness of nature’s prosperous produce and of course cruelty-free for animals. Ultimately, if we know that what we are eating on a regular basis is having an effect on our future health, it makes sense to prioritise what is better for us, so let’s make a meal of it!

Susanna Author:

UK registered Dietitian • Obsessive foodie • Plant-based blogger • Recipe magician • Free-from

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24th July 2016

 | In Blog

Introducing The Moral Munch

Created in 2013 by a Registered Dietitian, The Moral Munch aims to share creative and nutritious cooking with friends and fellow foodies. Promoting healthy eating, using natural plant-based ingredients available to all, we say ‘share the love’ as if it’s your last supper.

Finding your way around the website should appear simple enough for you to discover everything you need. Delicious recipes are listed for your refined requirements including raw, gluten free and no added sugar options. No one should feel left out so caring for yourself and your closest acquaintances will be effortless for those impromptu dinner parties and quality time together.

In addition to the recipes on offer, The Moral Munch is keen to seek out local food creators, taking their foodie passions into inspiring businesses. Follow our future blogs, which may bring you some insight into the plant-based world of healthy living.

Finally, let us introduce you to our new online shop. Our goal is to offer everyday nutritious dining, snacking, munching and drooling to all. Order something new today and tell us what you think. Our raw ‘cookie dough’ energy balls already have a great reputation at an Essex vegan cafe, and now we are giving you the opportunity to get hands-on with healthy eating and roll your own!

Hope you enjoy the feast.

Susanna Author:

UK registered Dietitian • Obsessive foodie • Plant-based blogger • Recipe magician • Free-from

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